Set up your original Xbox 360 or Xbox 360 S console

Note For information about how to set up your Xbox 360 E console, see Set up your Xbox 360 E console.

Xbox 360 setup

Unbox and position the console

An illustration shows the items that come in the Xbox 360 console package.

Step 1: Unbox the console

An Xbox 360 game system typically includes:

  1. Console
  2. A/V cable (varies by console package)
  3. Power supply
  4. Power cord
  5. Wireless controller
  6. 2 AA batteries
  7. User manual
  8. Wired headset (varies by console package)

Step 2: Remove the protective tape

An illustration shows a hand pulling protective tape off the front of the Xbox 360 console.

Step 3: Position the console

Good placement Poor placement
An illustration shows an example of a good Xbox console-and-TV setup in a cabinet. The console has air space around it. An illustration shows an example of an Xbox console setup that is not good because the console is packed tightly with other items on a shelf without ventilation space around it.

Make sure that the location for your console is as follows:

  • Stable.
  • Well-ventilated, relatively cool, and away from direct heat sources.
  • Uncluttered. Do not put other objects on, under, or right next to the console.

You can position the console vertically or horizontally.

Plug in the power supply

An illustration shows the Xbox 360 power supply plugged into a wall socket and the console.
  1. Connect the power supply to the console first.
  2. Plug the power cord into the power supply.
  3. Then plug the power cord into an electrical outlet.

Connect the console to your TV

Most new console systems include a composite audio/video cable. You can use this cable to connect the console to a standard television or monitor. This cable does not support high-definition display.

If you have an HDTV, see Connect an Xbox 360 S console or an original Xbox 360 console to a TV.

Composite A/V cable connection with a standard-definition TV or monitor:
A drawing shows the composite audio-visual cable connections between an Xbox 360 console and a TV.
  1. Connect the A/V connector to the A/V port on the console.
  2. Locate the A/V ports on your TV or monitor. Connect the color-coded connectors on the composite A/V cable to the corresponding ports on the TV as follows:
    Yellow = composite video
    Red = right-channel analog audio
    White = left-channel analog audio
  3. Note Monaural (mono) TVs have only one audio jack. Connect either the red or white connector to the TV.

  4. Turn on the TV and console.
Xbox Dashboard home screen

When you turn on the console and TV, you should see the Xbox Dashboard on your display.

Connect a controller

If you have a wired controller, see Connect a controller to your Xbox 360.

A finger reaches to press the large Guide button near the center of an Xbox 360 controller.

Connect a wireless controller

  1. Turn on the console.
  2. Insert the AA batteries into the controller.
  3. Press and hold the center Xbox Guide button until the controller turns on. If the controller does not turn on, check the batteries. If you’re using a rechargeable controller, make sure that it’s charged.
  4. Press and release the connect button on the console.
An illustration shows a finger reaching to press the small connect button on the Original Xbox 360 console and on the Xbox 360 E console. With the consoles positioned vertically, the connect button is near the left edge just below center on the Original Xbox 360. On the Xbox 360 E console, it is on the left nearer the bottom.
  1. Within 20 seconds, press and release the connect button on the controller.
An illustration emphasizes the connect button on the front edge of the Xbox 360 controller.


  • When the lights surrounding the power button on the console stop flashing, the controller is connected.
  • You can connect up to four controllers to a console.
  • Each connected controller is assigned to one of four positions. Each position corresponds to a lighted section around the console’s power button and the controller’s Xbox Guide button.
  • For more information about how to connect a controller to your Xbox 360 console, go to Connect a controller to your Xbox 360.

Set your console settings

The Xbox Language option screen

The first time that you start your console, you’re prompted to:

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete these steps.

The Xbox 360 disc tray is opened and a disc removed.

Now, insert a game disc and you’re ready to start playing!

Note For information about how to change the language on your Xbox 360, go to Xbox 360 Dashboard displays text in the wrong language.

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